|[ Excerpt from The Science of Yoga, page 104 ]
In the Sanskrit language, kona means "angle" and trini means "three." Therefore, this asana is also referred to as "the triangle pose."
There are many variations to the 'three-angled' pose. In this lesson I'll give you very important instruction in structure and foundation for the trikona poses, which will help you when practicing further variations.
Note: the posture is performed first to the right side and then repeated in the same fashion to the left.
- Begin in sama sthiti asana.
- Jump or step your feet wide apart and raise your arms to the level of the shoulders with the palms facing down. Depending on your height, your feet should be between 2.5 to 3.5 feet apart.
- Inhale and simultaneously turn your head to the right (looking directly at the right hand) and turn your right foot outward to 90 degrees.
- Exhale and slowly bend sideways, dropping your right hand down toward the right ankle while at the same time extending your left arm and hand straight upwards. Your left hand palm should be open and facing forward, and both the right and left arms should be in-line, forming a straight line from the tips of your left fingers to the tips of your right fingers.
- Allow your head to turn and look either straight forward or upward toward the left hand, making sure to keep the head and neck in line with the spine.
- Allow yourself to reach as far down to the right with your right hand as you can while maintaining this alignment. In this way, the degree of your true lateral flexibility will dictate just how far down the leg you are able to reach with your hand.
Note: Some people might reach only down to the lateral lower legs, some to the ankle, and some may well be able to place their palm flat on the floor along their instep. Do not compromise the alignment of the body for the sake of reaching farther down with the hand.
Note: The amount of body-weight placed onto this hand should be minimal, using the hand and arm merely to provide light support and maintain balance, and not to lean down upon.
- Take long and slow breaths and try to maintain this position for 20 – 30 seconds in the beginning, increasing the duration with practice.
- To come out of the posture, exhale and slowly turn your neck and head to look down at the right hand again.
- Inhale and slowly come back up, bringing the arms back into a position parallel to the ground at the level of the shoulders.
- Turn the neck and head, along with the right foot again to face forward.
- Repeat the entire sequence in mirror fashion to the left side.
- When completed on both sides, jump or step back into sama sthiti asana, with the hands in namaskara mudra at the chest.
- Relax your arms and hands to the sides and take a few relaxing breaths with your eyes closed.
Effects and Benefits
The benefits from the practice of this posture are numerous. Trikona asana is part of a whole series of 'kona' asanas, or angle poses, that provide a great long stretch to many of the muscles of the body.
They also stimulate circulation to the spinal area and excite reflex nerve activity, benefiting the cranial nerves associated with the sensory organs of the head, especially the eyes.
In particular, this posture aids greatly in increasing the lateral flexibility of the spine. A healthy spine maintains youthfulness and makes it easier to sit in meditation for long hours without pain or fatigue. This asana develops the muscles along the spine and strengthens the abdominal region and neck, removing backaches and neck pain.
If practised carefully, it also aids in the relief of sciatica. Trikona asana rebalances and re-aligns the hips, pelvic area and trunk.
Trikona asana also acts beneficially upon susumna nadi and confers psychic/mental balance, courage, will power and self-confidence to the practitioner. As a result, it can help increase one’s capacity for control over erratic and spontaneous reactions such as anger, fear, anxiety, stress and tension...
The contents of this web page are intended for informational purposes only. One should not engage in any yoga practices based solely upon the directions given on this web page or any other page of this web site. Anyone atempting to perform any of the yoga exercises introduced on this website assumes full responsibility and does so at their own risk.
NOTE: This yoga article is an excerpt from The Science of Yoga, an online yoga training program with streaming yoga videos and 600 pages of step-by-step yoga instruction.
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